10 Minutes with... Matt Caughtran

In the run up to 2015, we’ll be quizzing your favourite bands on their highlights – and disasters – of the last 12 months. Matt Caughtran, for one, has had a busy year. He’s been on the road for much of 2014 with The Bronx and, most recently, their mariachi alter-ego Mariachi El Bronx. Here, the vocalist guides us through his 2014, but just don’t ask him what his favourite film was…

What was your mindset going into this year?

“The start of 2014 was a very, very optimistic one, and that’s a rarity for me. Going into this new Mariachi record (Mariachi El Bronx III) I just knew we were going to have the opportunity to do some things that were really special, you know, like being able to go outside of California and record. We came off an awesome year with The Bronx IV, and were able to travel around and play new tunes, finally, and the start of this year felt like a continuation of a rebirth of the band. 2013 was an awesome year, and when 2014 came around, the feeling was that we’re not stopping - we’re just gonna keep going, in autopilot mode.”

What’s been your favourite gig of 2014?

“We did two back-to-back Bronx shows here in London at a place called Oslo, and they were a fucking blast. They were so much fun. England has always been a really cool place for us, and we’ve got some great memories from here in London, but it just felt so good to play those shows, you know? They were so great, the crowds went nuts, and those to me were probably the best shows of the year.”

Which band or artist has inspired or impressed you the most this year?

“That’s a tough one. Let’s see… I’ll go with our friends in Trash Talk. We’ve known those guys for a really long time, and they really established themselves this year. I love those guys and I’m stoked for them because they’re killing it right now, and any time you can separate yourself from the pack in whatever you do, it’s a good thing. To me, that band are on another level right now.”

What’s the best film you’ve seen this year?

“Oh dude, I don’t even know. It’s sounds terribly rock ‘n’ roll, but when I watch movies I’m usually on a plane and I’m usually a little drunk. So I don’t really know, man.”

Alright then, what was the best day of 2014 for you?

“The best of the year was the day I was born: February 13th. I’m someone who really appreciates being alive. I try to remember my friends’ birthdays as well, but Ken’s the one who usually remembers everyone’s birthdays. We try to stay on top of things whenever we’re on tour and there’s a birthday in the band, because every time you get another year older it’s a chance to look back and be stoked with what you’ve done with your life, and what you want to do with your future - it’s like your own personal New Year’s, so February 13th is always my favourite day of the year.”

And does one particular day stand out as the worst?

“9/11 is always a tough one for me. Obviously because of the World Trade Center, and the Twin Towers and all that stuff, but my dad died on 911 four years ago, and that’s always a tough day for me. But outside of that, you know, the world’s alright.”

And how are you planning to see in the end of the year?

“I’m going to be honest, I love just getting wasted on New Year’s Eve. But I don’t really know where my head space is going to be at. I think it’s going to be pretty cool, because we’re coming off a year of amazing tours and we’ve got a lot of things booked going into 2015, so that always helps. If you come to the end of the year and you have no idea what you’re doing in the next year – creatively, musically, professionally – you’re kind of like, oh shit. I think 2015 for The Bronx is going to be a rager. Outside of that, New Year’s Eve for me is not about getting ready for the year to come, but celebrating the year you’ve had. It’s been a good year for me personally, and for all the guys in the group, so that night I’m gonna fucking toss them back.”

Check back every day for more interviews featuring 36 Crazyfists’ Brock Lindow, Set It Off’s Cody Carson, Hawk Eyes’ Paul Astick, Frank Turner, Don Broco’s Rob Damiani and more…

Matt Stocks

DJ, presenter, writer, photographer and podcaster Matt Stocks was a presenter on Kerrang! Radio before a year’s stint on the breakfast show at Team Rock Radio, where he also hosted a punk show and a talk show called Soundtrack Apocalypse. He then moved over to television, presenting on the Sony-owned UK channel Scuzz TV for three years, whilst writing regular features and reviews for Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine. He also wrote, produced and directed a feature-length documentary on Australian hard rock band Airbourne called It’s All For Rock ‘N’ Roll, and in 2017 launched his own podcast: Life in the Stocks. His first book, also called Life In The Stocks, was published in 2020. A second volume was published in April 2022.